The Best Disney Villains That Made Fans Cheer And Jeer

Pat Carroll in The Little Mermaid (1989) Disney Villains

The best Disney villains compose menace, provocative acting, or great power that make children weep behind the couch. Maleficent radiates evil in spectacular fashion while Cruella de Vil provides a menacing glare. Some live-action villains also make the list, still making an iconic impression on many, young and old. 

Each of these Disney villains gives precious memories to fans around the world.

Captain Barbossa (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl)

Geoffrey Rush in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Captain Barbossa has a no-nonsense vibe and plays off well against the boisterous Jack Sparrow. With a menacing smile and a will to return to being human, Barbossa acts as a fantastic antagonist for the trio of Will, Elizabeth, and Jack.

The grandiose voice given by Geoffrey Rush brings gravitas to the role. His spectacular sword fight with Jack Sparrow remains a highlight of the Pirates series.

Captain Hook (Peter Pan)

Hans Conried in Peter Pan (1953)
Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

From one pirate to the next, Captain Hook provides a completely different take on a Disney villain. This captain comprises both menacing and comedic scenes in Peter Panmaking him unique.

His iconic line “Blast that, Peter Pan!” calls us back to the classic Disney film, in addition to the antagonist's hilarious reaction to the crocodile. His strange mustache and ridiculous get-up crack many up, too. 

Chernabog (Fantasia)

Fantasia (1940)
Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

Hailing from Fantasia, Chernabog looks powerful and menacing. He conquers the world with his dark powers and presence. This villain also acts as one of the last Kingdom Hearts villains Sora faces in the game, serving as a tough boss for the keyblade wielder to overcome.

Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians)

Betty Lou Gerson in One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Distribution.

Cruella de Vil acts so infamously that she even has her own song about her. The lyric “If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will!” rings true because she wants to steal baby puppies from their mother and father.

To make things worse, Cruella intends to make fur from them! So evil! Her shrill, yet fancy voice and devilish black-and-white look make her memorable to many fans as well. 

Davy Jones (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Bill Nighy in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

If anyone wants intensity from their Disney villains, Davy Jones provides that. This monster from the deep creeps out anyone who watches the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The tentacles crawling around his mouth and his piercing stare gives a creepy vibe. He also controls a destructive Kraken that destroys a ship in minutes. 

Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)

Keith David in The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

With friends on the other side, Dr. Facilier establishes a dark tone in The Princess and the FrogHe takes advantage of others' weaknesses of grandeur and calls upon the darkness to bring about evil spirits. His scenes provide imaginative artistic flair as sketches appear in the background as he shifts into jazzy dances. The skull mask he wears makes many shake in their boots.

Gaston (Beauty & The Beast)

Richard White in Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.

With one of the best Disney songs in history, Gaston portrays a maniacal, self-loving villain many can't help but adore. His huge muscles, thick neck, and handsome smile, however, hide a dark urge to destroy anything that stands in his way, making him a fantastic Disney antagonist.

His song “Gaston” bestows Disney fans with plenty of laughs and unforgettable lines. Even Deadpool made a spoof of it in a highly viewed fan video

Hades (Hercules)

James Woods in Hercules (1997)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Hades provides the best laughs out of any Disney villain, and that's “The Gospel Truth!”

While his actor James Woods has a messy past, the portrayal gives off a hilarious personality with witty, sarcastic humor. However, Woods offers up a ferocious side that can scare kids watching Hercules. The plume of smoke from his feet and enflamed hair provides an iconic artistic look as well.

Hopper (A Bug's Life)

Kevin Spacey in A Bug's Life (1998)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Who knew a bug could scare the daylights out of an audience? Compared to the protagonist, the ant Flik, Hopper dominates with a monstrous appearance. His piercing stare, long legs, and huge frame terrify the audience as he takes advantage of the ants.

Hopper also threatens a character that he'd kill him before punching him hard in the face. He knows how to manipulate fear to his advantage, making him one of the best Disney villains.

Jafar (Aladdin)

Jonathan Freeman in Aladdin (1992)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Conniving, sinister, and downright creepy around Jasmine, Jafar provides villainy left, right, and center. He lusts for power and whenever he succeeds, his evil laugh echoes the room during Aladdin

The ending battle scene with Jafar transforming into a snake stuns the audience and gets many scared for Aladdin and Jasmine's fate. This makes him a threatening Disney villain in a vein all his own. The interplay with Iago provides some laughs, too, to provide comedic relief. 

Judge Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Tony Jay in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Judge Frollo gives no comedic relief in the slightest. This cold-hearted, terrifying villain thinks he's a righteous man as he performs insidious acts, making him a more dastardly antagonist than most. He commands the screen as he performs the song “Hellfire” as he has feelings for the gypsy Esmerelda.

To avoid this sin, he says, “He's willing to burn down all of Paris” to kill her, making him an uncomposted, scary villain. Judge Frollo captivates audiences in The Hunchback of Notre Dame one villain-type that Disney may never explore again. 

Madam Mim (The Sword in the Stone)

Martha Wentworth in The Sword in the Stone (1963)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Distribution.

From the most serious to one of the silliest villains in Disney history, Madam Mim captivates many who watch The Sword in the StoneHer “mad, mad, mad, mad” composure makes children afraid as she excitedly duels Merlin with magic. She plays devilish tricks during the fight, like turning into a dragon, but Merlin outwits her by turning into an infection. 

Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

Eleanor Audley and Dal McKennon in Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Distribution.

Elegant, yet violent. Intelligent, yet ruthless. Maleficent towers as one of the best Disney villains ever. Her laugh haunts many Disney fans, and her dragon form is magnificent to behold.

Her dark presence in Kingdom Hearts reaffirms her as one of the most daunting antagonists in Disney history as she leads multiple of her villain brethren and turns Riku from his best friend, Sora.

Master Xehanort (Kingdom Hearts)

Rutger Hauer in Kingdom Hearts III (2019)
Image Credit: Square Enix.

Arguably the most powerful on this list, Master Xehanort terrorizes Sora and the gang in the Kingdom Hearts series. Voiced by legends like Leonard Nimoy and Christopher Lloyd, he manipulates his foes with captivating words and dishes out damage in the game in spectacular fashion. 

A master strategist, Master Xehanort provides a daunting presence within the series. 

Oogie Boogie (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Ken Page in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

“Well, well, well, what have we here?” Oogie Boogie makes many really scared! He makes viewers feel helpless as he traps Santa Claus in his twisted maze. In the film The Nightmare Before ChristmasOogie Boogie belts out a jazzy, classic Disney song with plenty of flair. 

Going back to the Kingdom Hearts series, he appears as a comedic relief antagonist who makes fun of his opponents. Maleficent makes him look like a fool, but many can't help but love the sack of worms. 

Scar (The Lion King)

The Lion King (1994)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

This antagonist lion strikes fear into Simba and the rest of the Pride Lands. Like Jafar, Scar schemes and can be a master manipulator. He knows how to get into the heads of the protagonists, making him a devilish Disney villain.

His song “Be Prepared” shows fans his daunting and sassy personality perfectly, too.

Shego (Kim Possible)

Nicole Sullivan in Kim Possible (2002)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Television Animation.

The mix between the bumbling Dr. Drakken and the heavily focused Shego gave Kim Possible viewers comedic gold. Despite this comedic relief, Shego became a threat to the teenage agent. Her green and black style became iconic in the 2000's, and her fighting style looks incredible on screen. 

Syndrome (The Incredibles)

Jason Lee in The Incredibles (2004)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Syndrome, despite becoming a criminal mastermind and likely billionaire, has a relatable quality. Shunned by his hero, he turned to a life of villainy filled with rage and jealousy. Syndrome succeeded in taking heroes and testing them to their limits until they died, making him a villain viewers can believe. 

Add in some one-liners and a cool ability to levitate his foes, and Syndrome can be argued as one of the best Disney villains to date.

Ursula (The Little Mermaid)

Pat Carroll in The Little Mermaid (1989)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Ursula brought so much charisma when she appeared in cinemas with The Little Mermaid. This Disney villain flaunted as she twisted Ariel's mind. She convinced the mermaid to take her voice and take the prince Ariel wanted. That's until Ariel's friends and family took down this accursed witch.

Similar to Jafar, she took on a humongous form after taking control of King Triton's Trident, marking an exciting conclusive fight. 

Yzma and Kronk (The Emperor's New Groove)

Eartha Kitt and Patrick Warburton in The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

“Pull the lever, Kronk” will be remembered for many decades to come as Kronk pulls the wrong one. The comedic beauty between Yzma and Kronk gives fans unmatched timing and funny lines that leave them in stitches. 

The film plays off the ridiculous, yet sweet nature of Kronk and Yzma's rage about the delinquent Kuzco. What makes it better? Her want to remove Kuzco from power can be argued as justified if she didn't plan to kill him. Yzma and Kronk rank as some of the best Disney villains because of the memorable scenes they share with each other.

Author: Chris Penwell

Title: Freelance Writer